Company Blog

Watching for Masonry Damage

Over our several decades of working on chimneys in the Hudson Valley area, All Seasons Chimney knows how important it is to spot masonry damage in its early stages. We have done numerous repairs on extensive chimney damage. Consequently, many of these repairs could have been prevented. How? By taking quick action to fix the damaged bricks and mortar. This is why it is so crucial to be on the lookout for cracked, chipped, broken, or stained bricks and mortar joints on your chimney’s masonry! We would like to tell you more about the first signs of damaged masonry. In doing this, it will help you be more proactive with the maintenance of your chimney.

Watching for Masonry Damage Image - Poughkeepsie NY - All Seasons ChimneySPALLING

The main cause of masonry damage is water. In fact, water has been called the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Why? It has to do with masonry materials being naturally porous. This means the bricks and mortar joints easily absorb moisture from rain, ice, and snow. Not only does this cause erosion damage, but even greater deterioration occurs during the winter. Any water that is trapped inside the masonry materials will freeze and expand whenever the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The water then thaws when the weather warms back up. Unfortunately, its force can cause the bricks and mortar joints to crack and break apart.

Repeated freeze/thaw cycles can lead to serious masonry damage, including the possible collapse of the structure of the chimney. All Seasons Chimney recommends taking a look at the exterior of your chimney at the end of winter. Look to see if you have any cracked, loose, or missing bricks and/or mortar joints. If these are neglected, you can have an even bigger problem of water leaks during the spring and summer. This is due to the gaps and voids left behind by damaged masonry.

STAINING

Another sign of chimney masonry is stains on the exterior chimney. If you notice white stains on the outside of your chimney, you are seeing efflorescence. Caused by mineral salts left behind during evaporation, these stains can alert to water penetration of your chimney. As you learned from the above paragraph about spalling, water can do extensive and expensive damage to chimney masonry. Other types of stains to look for, according to Inspectapedia, are black and brown stains (creosote inside your chimney) and rust stains (a sign of corrosion damage to your chimney cap or flashing).

Fortunately, All Seasons Chimney specializes in fixing leaky chimneys! Do you see any signs of water damage to your chimney’s exterior? If so, contact us to schedule an appointment for our professional chimney masonry repair services!

Is Your Fireplace Ready for Winter?

Cozy Winter Fireplace Ready Image - Poughkeepsie NY - All Seasons ChimneyColder weather is in the forecast, but is your chimney and fireplace system ready for warm, cozy, and safe fires this winter? To be prepared for lighting the first fire in your fireplace this year, you need to schedule your annual professional chimney sweeping and inspection appointment with our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweeps at All Seasons Chimney. The CSIA, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and other national fire safety groups all recommend having this chimney maintenance done by qualified professionals before fireplace season gets started. Winter is just around the corner, and we are here to help you get your fireplace ready to go. We would like to tell you why it is so important to have your chimney professionally swept and inspected before winter.

Prevent chimney fires

When you burn wood in your fireplace, creosote is naturally produced during the combustion process and builds up in deposits on the inner walls of the chimney. The residue of smoke, vapors, gases, and other byproducts of combustion, creosote varies in color and texture. Whether it is black or brown, sticky and gummy, dry and flaky, or hard and shiny, creosote is very flammable. It is so hazardous that the CSIA has named it as a leading cause of chimney fires. If you have not had your chimney professionally swept since last winter, you could have a large amount of creosote accumulation inside your chimney. To get rid of this fire hazard, All Seasons Chimney can remove every bit of creosote from the interior chimney walls. We take great care in ensuring that your risk of a possibly devastating chimney fire is greatly reduced.

Avoid water deterioration

When All Seasons Chimney inspects your chimney, we look for any damaged and/or missing bricks and mortar joints on the exterior of your chimney structure. If the masonry materials are cracked and broken, water can penetrate into your home through the chimney. You can end up with stained ceilings and walls, rusted metal chimney components, and rotting wood. Even worse, the structure of your chimney could collapse as cold winter weather can cause even more deterioration of the bricks and mortar. Our CSIA-certified chimney experts will give you honest written estimates of the repair work needed to protect your chimney from water damage and deterioration during the winter. During the inspection, we will also look for other problems such as flue blockages and chimney liner damage that increase your risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. You can trust us to be sure your fireplace and chimney will be working efficiently and safely all winter long.

Be sure your fireplace is ready for winter. Contact us at All Seasons Chimney to schedule an appointment for our chimney sweeping and inspection services today.